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Cisco Fog will connect to Microsoft Azure IoT

The cloud and the fog both have important roles to play in the internet of things, and the difference is becoming clearer. According to Microsoft, the cloud is the place to manage IoT devices, and to collect and analyze the data they generate. The insights generated from that analysis inform applications at the edge, which Cisco calls the fog.

Cisco and Microsoft are teaming up to connect Cisco’s fog to Microsoft’s cloud. The companies said they are working together to develop the hybrid IoT solutions that businesses need to ensure the scalable, economical and secure execution of their IoT services from the edge to the cloud and in between. The companies said there are three key benefits for customers.

First, businesses will be able to build and host their IoT applications in Microsoft Azure, and then extend those applications to the edge with Cisco’s solutions. Second, intelligence and processing capabilities will be able to move closer to endpoints so that critical decisions can be processed in real time. Finally, data movement from the cloud to the endpoints will be more efficient because edge intelligence can ensure that endpoints receive only the right data at the right time.

“The cost of transport and speed of processing has … increased, which is challenging for many uses cases such as mission-critical services (e.g. autonomous driving, factory line management),” said Cisco’s head of IoT strategy Macario Namie, in a blog post. “By working to ensure seamless interoperability between Azure IoT and Cisco IoT, we’re one step closer to fulfilling what customers are demanding – getting outcomes in the fastest, least complex way.”

Cisco and Microsoft are longtime IoT partners. Cisco’s Jasper connectivity management platform is integrated with the Azure IoT hub, and the two companies are partners in the Microsoft IoT & AI Insider Labs. Cisco has also released an integrated system for Azure’s software stack, in an effort to give customers the benefits of the Azure cloud in an on-premise environment.

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